The East Carbon City Council met in regular session on Tuesday .
The first item on the agenda was a motion for East Carbon to join the Utah Chambers of Commerce organization. After a short discussion, the motion was presented and approved. The city will join the association.
Mayor Orlando LaFontaine then read a formal declaration promoting city police officer Philip Holt to the rank of sergeant.
A resolution on the matter had been passed at a previous meeting, and the Feb. 28 document was a formal declaration of that resolution.
The mayor again asked city councilmembers to accept the declaration by a formal vote. The resolution passed unanimously.
Holt assumed the duties of sergeant on the East Carbon police force effective March 1.
Business then turned to city council reports.
Councilmember Joyce Caviness reported that she, the mayor and Mike Williams recently met with April Durrant, the state program director for national and community services. Durrant told the East Carbon representatives that the city might be able to get as many as five Vista volunteers to help with community projects, planning and writing grants.
Durrant also said the city could possibly recruit three local citizens and get two more from the national Vista volunteer pool.
Caviness explained that the project would need a formal proposal and a committee to write that proposal. The councilmember said Williams has agreed to head the committee and she asked for local volunteers to sit on the committee.
Caviness said the committee will do a "community needs" survey to determine what citizens perceive to be community needs, and then the committee will formally draft a document addressing those needs. Two community needs expressed by people at the meeting were a new swimming pool and a skate park.
Councilwoman Darlene Kuhns said that East Carbon resident, Trevor Howell, had submitted an application to join the city fire department. She expressed her desire to accept the application, and she asked the council for a sustaining vote. The vote was unanimous and Howell will be allowed to join the department.
Kuhns said that the fire department is still short handed, and she invited other city residents to join the volunteer force.
Councilman David Maggio reported that ECDC had laid-off another 3 workers and the workforce was now down to 11 from a high of nearly 50. He said that things look bad for the future of the site, and tippage fees from the facility would fall way short of meeting the city loan payments.
Maggio also said that he had met with school board member, Jim Leonard, who told him that East Carbon and Sunnyside will need to get together and decide the future of the two school buildings in Sunnyside. He said that one of the schools will be torn down and the other could be converted to a community center. Original plans were for Peterson Elementary to be torn down and the old High School renovated to accommodate the elementary students, but engineer studies have show that it might be cheaper to build a new school than to renovate the old high school.
A new elementary school will likely be built on the site of the old high school, and Maggio said that the old high school gymnasium might be saved as a community center, or the towns might be able to use Peterson elementary when it is vacated by the school district. The two city councils will have to decide what they want to do.
Maggio also said that he had asked Leonard about putting a walkway and gate to the High School track from the Senior Citizens Center. He said that many seniors walk there in the afternoons, and a path and gate would allow them to do so without driving their cars there. He said the matter is under advisement.
Maggio told those assembled that East Carbon resident and Jr. High School Student, Cody Hunt, had won first place at a school history fair held at the College of Eastern Utah. He said he wanted to be sure that the community knew about the young man's achievements, and he wanted to congratulate him for winning the award. Maggio told everyone at the meeting that Cody had done his presentation on the history of organized labor in Carbon County, and he had done an excellent job. By winning the local competition, Hunt qualified to take his presentation to State competition.
Maggio also said that East Carbon resident Nick Lucero had been voted Mr. Carbon at the High School in Price, and he wanted everyone to congratulate Lucero on his achievement too.
Maggio revisited the issue of the city gun range, and agreed to meet with power plant officials to discuss their pledge to maintain the backdrops at the gun range. He said that power plant officials had pledged years ago to maintain the new gun range when the old gun range was given to them as a place to dump ash from the power plant.
Councilman Joe Manley reported that he and Mayor LaFontaine had attended a recent meeting of the Carbon County Recreation Board. He gave a brief rundown on events and programs being offered currently, and spoke about the involvement of East Carbon youth in the programs.
There followed a discussion that was joined in by some members of the public who pointed out a critical need for parental involvement and help with some of the programs. Everyone was in agreement that the programs are very good for the community and the young people enjoy them very much, but there is a real need for more coaches and volunteers.
Manley also spoke about the need to repair and clean up the BMX track. He said that Fuzzy Nance and the Mountain Bike Club have volunteered to donate time to help put the BMX track back in shape. He asked for community support as well.
Manley also told the council that he had found a source for uniform shirts for city maintenance workers at a very reasonable price, and he asked the council to approve the purchase and a service agreement to launder them. After a short discussion, the council approved the action.
Mayor LaFontaine then asked the council to approve sending city worker Mike Dixon to water treatment certification classes, and to send him, the mayor, to a state sponsored rural business conference in Vernal. The council approved both actions.
LaFontaine then introduced Bryan Hanby from Humana Services who made a short presentation about senior citizen participation in the new Medicare programs.
The mayor then told the council that March 1 is the deadline for the latest round of applications to the Community Impact Board, and he is finalizing a proposal to secure a CIB grant to rebuild the city fire station. He said the fire station is a critical need for the community and a recent engineer estimate placed the cost of repairs at $500,000.
He talked too, about the city's need for a new police car, a dump truck, and a backhoe. He said that city police chief Sam Leonard is working on a possible $100,000 grant to help the department. LaFontaine explained that if the city can secure the $100,000 grant, they will still need to come up with matching funds of about $33,000. He said that all avenues for funding are being explored.
The mayor told the council that he is also asking the county commission for assistance with a city website. He said that Mike Williams has volunteered to be web master for the site, and the county might be able to host it.
LaFontaine told everyone that city police will be going door-to-door at the end of March to enforcing the dog license ordinance. He asked for citizen cooperation in the matter. He explained that stray and noisy dogs are becoming a real concern for residents, and dog ordinances will be fully enforced in the future.
The mayor and councilwoman Kuhns told those assembled that the city will begin major cleanup efforts by the first of April, and they again ask for community support. Volunteers are needed to help clean city property, and residents are asked to take care of their private property. The city is planning to have a Saturday set-aside sometime in the spring to be designated as a city cleanup day. Details will be in the city newsletter.
Lafontaine said that the city has received some applications for city building inspector, which the council would need to consider soon, and he publicly thanked Utah Power for fixing lights in the city park. He said that UP&L people have been very helpful, courteous, and responsive, in meeting the city's needs.
Before the meeting closed, city resident Jim Robertson reminded everyone that political parties will begin holding caucuses in the East Carbon area on March 21. He said that several local and state officials are up for re-election this year, and citizens have a duty to be involved in the political process. Everyone is invited to attend the caucuses, and the city newsletter will have more details.